Paying less for more – Market Freakonomics Part 1

This morning I decided to target a mid-range pineapple for 1500 shillings (75 NZ cents). Right now pineapples abound of all shapes, sizes, and ripeness priced between 500 and 3000 shillings (25 cents and $1.50NZ) Pineapples aren’t grown here in Gulu, but they are nearby and in 35 degree heat in the middle of dry season with rain still a month away, their cool juicy goodness is an instant win. I eyed the pineapple stacks until my eyes fixed on the perfect medium-sized treat. Surely no more than 1500 shillings?

Me:         “Good morning, how are you?”
Seller:   “Fine thanks, what about you?”
Me:         “I’m great. How much for that pineapple?”
Seller:    “2000 shillings”
Me:         “Really??? That seems expensive for that size. Do you have any for 1500?”
Seller:    “Sure, how about this one? (Picks up a MUCH BIGGER pineapple which sat                         right next to the 2000 shilling one)”
Me:         “That one’s great. But its bigger than the 2000 shilling one!!!!” (As you can see                       I’m the worst bargainer in the world, I usually leave it for Tessa)
He shrugs and  smiles: “Yeah you’re right, its a nice one. Do you want it?”

Pineapple sold. And I’m left feeling slightly chuffed and moderately bewildered.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been offered more for less at the market. I’m still not sure why it happens. Is it just relatively random pricing? Lack of size recognition? A clever way to ensure a sale and a happy customer? This isn’t the only economic enigma I’ve discovered at the market. I’ll share more later….

Any ideas or explanation would be welcome 🙂

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5 Responses to Paying less for more – Market Freakonomics Part 1

  1. Bronwyn says:

    Don’t worry about it Nick, just eat and enjoy!

  2. Ali says:

    Maybe first sale for the day? Many countries who barter believe that first sale should be generous in price etc to ensure good luck and plentiful sales for the rest of the day. Agree with Bronwyn, just eat and enjoy. – Ali.

  3. ntlaing says:

    Good thought, we’ll investigate.. 🙂

  4. Mum and Dad says:

    Perhaps the value perceived locally in a pineapple is not size related. Maybe the juiciest most desirable ones are not the biggest? 🙂 or maybe it was yesterday’s pineapple? 🙂
    Love, Mum.

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